NBC 5 Chicago and Telemundo Chicago on Wednesday unveiled the all new Live Doppler 5, the only commercial high-frequency S-Band dual polarization fixed weather radar in operation in the United States.
Live Doppler 5 gives the NBC 5 StormTeam the most powerful long-range view into approaching storms and provides real-time access to crucial weather information to help viewers better prepare for and keep their families safe during severe weather.
“We researched and invested in the best and most powerful radar available for the NBC 5 StormTeam to serve our viewer’s safety needs," Frank Whittaker, NBC 5’s Vice President of News. "We are the first and only station in this region and in the country to build a radar of this magnitude.”
Earlier this week, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, announced the deployment of the first-of-its-kind fleet of mobile Doppler weather radar trucks, each named StormRanger.
StormRanger 5, which launched in the Chicago market Thursday is one of three new StormRanger mobile Doppler weather radar trucks that will serve the NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations across the country. All three StormRangers will launch by the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The stations’ new Live Doppler 5 radar has an Effective Radiated Power of 10.4 Gigawatts and utilizes dual polarity to provide detailed information about water droplets, debris from a tornado on the ground, hail, ice or snow that is approaching.
NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago are the first stations in the country licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate in the high-frequency S-Band.
“Thanks to our new state-of-the-art weather forecasting tools, our Spanish-language viewers will be able to better prepare themselves and their families against severe weather threats,” added Diana Maldonado, Vice President of News, Telemundo Chicago.
Specifically, the StormRanger mobile weather trucks feature an X-band, dual polarization, Doppler weather radar with a range of 75 miles, allowing meteorologists to position the trucks in locations where they can see around terrain that has previously been unreachable by fixed weather radars.
“Our new High-Frequency S-Band Live Doppler 5 combined with Storm Ranger 5’s mobile radar will give us superior real-time radar information to keep our viewers and their families safe,” said Brant Miller, NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist.
The high-resolution and narrow-pulse radar also has the capability to scan storms at the lowest atmospheric layers, allowing NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago’s Meteorologists and weather teams to determine the exact location of a storm, including its strength, its speed and where it’s headed. StormRanger 5 will also be better able to detect snow, light rain, hail, and particles in the atmosphere, as well as tornado debris fields and smoke.
As StormRanger 5 roams across Illinois and heads to approaching storms, viewers will be able to track StormRanger 5 and the entire StormRanger fleet through NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago’s desktop and mobile web sites, and their stations' apps.
App users will also receive push notifications when StormRanger 5 is tracking storms and severe weather in their local area. Having real-time access to this crucial weather information may help local audiences better prepare for and keep their families safe from severe weather.